Tuesday

Just in case you readers think I’m filling the need of a grandparent to Reed, here’s a picture of his two wonderful but camera shy grandmas who both live within 10 miles of Reed. He also has a grandpa and 3 great grandmothers and Reed describes them all as being beautiful and amazing. I’ve always said I’m the lucky one – Reed has grandparents aplenty but I’m the one who loves chickens.

Yesterday Becky and her friend Jeanne entertained the toddlers at Concord during Nursing Home Week.

Karla, Reed’s mom, brought June and Vera, his little sisters, to listen to the music. Vera liked doing the actions.

I promised pictures of the chicks but they’re very hard to photograph because they dart here and there so fast.

Today Reed and I are going to open up their space and give them the whole pen. They are going to love it!

Hazel and Ernie Joe Mauer.

Pam and Ethel – almost twins!

And today it’s finally sunny and warm – I’ve been working on moving the plants from the basement and the shop outside. I stand by my rule not to move plants outside till Mothers Day. I had already moved some outside last week when it was so warm and they suffered in 40 degree weather last weekend. Never again.

Many of these are going to the Farmers Market. I have not moved my big plants yet – soon.

Now what have I forgotten? I am looking into putting advertising on the blog. I spend lots of time doing this and hope we can both benefit from advertising.

Connie has a new quilt finished – picture coming soon. We will make this pattern available for a very reasonable price in the near future.

I am binding the blue squares table mat – I actually got it quilted. Now it’s on to a new project!

Flowers

I hate it when a picture doesn’t post and I miss it! Here are the flowers Reed brought me.

Our book club met last Wednesday – Connie listened to the Great Alone by Kristin Hannah and loved it. I passed my copy on. And … I’m watching the Handmaid’s Tale in the shop. Whoa – now there’s a captivating story line!

I took a picture of yesterday’s eggs because they looked so pretty.

And Hazel has claimed my red chair as her own.

Does anyone get the magazine Quiltmania? Our friend, Scott Hansen, was featured and we were so excited for him!

Sorry – can’t get it to turn!

An Update

The biggest news around the farm is the flock of orioles in my yard. I had only one small feeder that held grape jelly

but I had to get creative and add two more feeding spots. Of course it was raining when I took these pictures – it’s been raining for days.

Remember the egg apron that my friend Linda crocheted for me as a Christmas gift? Reed gathered the eggs – he loved the apron!

Rick has started home physical and occupational therapy and he has made real progress this week – he can now get himself in and out of bed which is a huge help to me. This picture is a familiar sight throughout the day.

I cannot concentrate on starting a new quilt project – I’m not sure why because I really want to be able to sit down and sew just to rest. Today I spent the afternoon straightening up in the quilt shop and trying to gather fabric for a specific project. For those of you who visited the shop before we closed, here’s Jackie – still keeping me company. Maybe you remember our shop cat, Jackie. She is still a loud meower! Ha!

Yesterday I helped Reed and Myra finish their twined rugs – here is Reed weaving the ends back through the twining to secure them while Vera looks on.

Reed presented me with these gorgeous flowers and a sweet card for Mothers Day. As someone who wanted only to be a mother but was saddled with primary infertility, Mothers Day is painful even at 70 years old.

No field work has been started in North Iowa and all the farmers are nervous and anxious to get started. We’ve had over 6″ of rain in the past couple weeks and more is predicted for the coming week. If it’s not raining tomorrow, I’ll be mowing!

Connie’s Houses

Connie loves house blocks of any kind and she had her Bernina humming while she was in Florida last March. I simply do not know or understand how she combines these fabrics. The blocks are wonderful and I could never do it. I wish I had a little stash just like this to make house blocks with – of course, what am I thinking? I don’t have time to sew right now.

Don’t you just love it? I do! Here’s a close up of a section.

And here’s a photo of two blocks that I teased you with yesterday.

Isn’t this the wildest collection of fabrics and they all work together so well. I am jealous of the ability and confidence to put them all together.

The pattern is by Miss Rosie – called Village. Love her colors, too.

I’ll add this to my wish list – how about you?

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Time for a chick update – they are getting their feathers and getting so big! They are ready to start roosting at night because they like to sit on a cement block in their pen. Watching these little girls grow has been amazing. Reed came to do chores tonight.

Just look at this assortment!

Reed’s hens, Debbie and Delores, went home with him tonite. His coop is ready and the baby chicks just aren’t old enough to survive without a heat lamp. When they are and can move to Reed’s house, Debbie and Delores will have to come back here. They are somewhat aggressive and will peck at the babies.

Oh, it’s been a busy day – as usual. Lawn mowing will start full time this week and then it will soon be time to till the garden.

A Little Sewing

Hardly any time to sew but a few weeks ago I simply had to sit down at my machine. I pulled out the box of 2″ squares and sorted the blues and neutrals because I remembered a quilt I really liked in this book.

I just sewed blue and light squares together – with this quilt in mind.

The outside work has dominated my life for the past two weeks leaving me no free time. When I went back to look at the quilt, I decided I didn’t need this bigger quilt. What I really wanted was a red, white and blue table topper for Memorial Day, Flag Day and Fourth of July.

I didn’t know just where this was headed but at least I was sewing – and relaxing and resting my aching body.

This is not what I thought I was making when I started sewing squares together but I’m going to quilt it, bind it in red and put it on my table.

Tomorrow I’ll show you another one of Connie’s “Florida” quilts – she made them while on vacation. Connie loves house blocks. Wait till you see this new quilt! Here’s a hint.

Thursday Miscellaneous

This was my goal today after lunch – clean the hydrangeas.

The leaves were packed in solid and they were wet besides but I got it all cleaned and the fence put up.

Thank goodness I didn’t give up in the middle because it started to rain.

And rain.

And continued to rain!

We got over 2″ and it’s still raining lightly. It was not pretty at the door to the quilt shop – so much water all at once that it flowed over the sidewalk and into the front door.

I have been soaked to the skin twice today – just unplugging gutters, etc. I wonder what the weather will be like this summer?????

Yesterday Rick had an appointment at Mayo. Here’s a view from the lobby overlooking a waiting area where people take turns playing the grand piano. You may have seen a video on YouTube – one in particular is an older couple playing a duet – standing up!

And here’s the view from the 15th floor.

Good news – Rick MIGHT get his walking cast a couple weeks early. And then there’s my shoes – they match!

Reed did the baby chick chores for me – here’s an update to show you how fast they’re growing.

See the feather duster hanging up? I saw this idea on Facebook – the chicks run under the feather duster as if it’s their mom who would sit on them – isn’t that sweet?

HOPE

The amazing story of the owl is one side of our daily lives – actually saving a young creature to live it’s life to adulthood. On the other side of the coin comes sorrow that hits hard. Hope, Connie’s sweet black lab mix dog crossed over the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. She was getting old and her health was failing yet she traveled to Florida with Connie and Roy in March and enjoyed warm walks on the beach although they were slow walks.

Hope stayed here with us many times over the years and she was a gentle soul. She loved doing chores and roaming around the barn having a bite of chicken poop now and then. She was always glad to come here and when I’d open up their house door and she heard me, she came trotting down the stairs. She couldn’t wait to get in my van and come to the farm. She snored loudly at night, sometimes so loud I could hardly sleep – ha! She loved to clean up everybody’s food bowl and I usually allowed it – keeping Hope was like having a grandchild stay overnight. She could do no wrong.

I took this picture of Connie and Hope right before they left for Florida. It’s soooo hard to take a picture of a black dog, isn’t it?

To all of you who have loved a dog as a member of your family, you know this doesn’t get easier. I know Hope is running with our other dogs and feeling no pain. Rest In Peace, Hopey!

The Owl Story Continues…..

Of course this morning before church I had to go out to the grove and check on the owl – in my pajamas and a coat. I looked and looked and then turned around to this—

Whoa!!!! Obviously he traveled up the branch and once again fell to the inside of the fence. I took off my coat and put over his head and lifted him to the top of the fence where I thought he might grab on with his talons. Whoops! Over he went to the ground and sat there as if to say ” you dropped me?”

I had to get to church but when I got home I went out to check on him but couldn’t find him. Every time I go out there Mama flies out of a tree nearby so I know she’s okay with me helping out. I looked and looked and then as an afterthought, I looked up.

I almost jumped for joy and thanked God right then and there. In order to get this high in a tree, he had to fly. Oh, what a relief! I was thrilled!

So then – about that huge tree on the fence, right where I put the owl up on the limb. The neighbor who owns this ground was coming to cut that tree off the fence which is actually our responsibility but Tim was kind enough to do it for us. I pointed out the owl and pleaded for steadiness and care so he didn’t jar the owl off the branch. I’ve been trying to get him to fly up in a tree for 3 days.

The pictures tell the story.

The branch where the owl was perched didn’t even move! What a masterful job with a skid loader!

The mama owl is always there when I check on the baby – she flies out over the field. The juvenile owl is about 12″ tall and is a Great Horned Owl. The mama has a wing span which looks to be 4-5′ and she must be about 20″ tall. Someone told me they thought these owls oftentimes have only one baby.

Recently someone told me I have just too much work to do around here and I can’t disagree. But experiences like this Owl adventure make it all worth it. I’ll be checking on the baby this week and will keep you updated.

And the library quilt show was Saturday and Reed’s quilt was on display with a couple dozen more quilts.

No ribbons were given out – this was just for fun but he’ll be taking it to the fair in July. Everybody came to see his quilt – Nolan, June, Myra and Vera.

What a weekend – I am exhausted! Another “Connie” quilt coming up this week. Brigette of Zen Chic put the pattern X and Plus back on her website so if you’re wanting this pattern you can purchase it now. I can’t wait to see your quilts!

A Most Exciting Day

Twenty four hours ago Hazel and Telly found a young owl in the grove. I have been hearing an owl for several months straight west of the house and that’s where I found the owl on the ground with Hazel and Telly wanting to attack and kill it. I made them come with me to the house and hoped for the best. This morning the owl was not there. Whew!

About noon I saw a very large bird fly over and wondered, just wondered if it was the mama owl. Sure enough I found the juvenile owl not far from the spot I saw it last night. What to do? Take off my sweatshirt and cover the owl’s head, pick him up and walk to the house where I put him inside a cat carrier.

Now what? I called and left a message for the local conservation officer. Waiting, waiting for him to call me back and while I waited I decided to take the owl to Reed’s house to show him – I knew he’d want to see it and so did everybody else. Then I went to Concord to show Gayle who is so interested in wildlife.

The conservation officer called me back and I stopped at his house – he told me there was not much he could do except take the young owl to the wildlife area near my house. I knew he wouldn’t make it without his mom nearby to feed him but if I put him back in the grove, the dogs would surely find him.

Soooooooo – knowing a huge tree limb had landed on our fence close to where the owl was found, I decided to put him on that limb. The conservation officer told me the young owl was a “brancher” – old enough to hop around on a branch or limb but not yet able to fly and still dependent on mom to feed him.

Becky and Tom were bringing pizza for supper to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary so after we ate Becky and I loaded the ladder and the owl on the golf cart and drove to the west side of our property where the tree was laying on the fence. I positioned the ladder and made sure it was solid.

Here’s where Becky accidentally switched to video so bear with me. I had on leather gloves and with a towel I pulled the terrified owl out of the cat carrier.

So…..the videos will not load even though they’re only 1-3 seconds but I held on to his feet and he flapped his wings and I took him up the ladder and sat him on the limb.

It was a thrilling few minutes – I remember saying I wanted to be a bird trainer when I grew up – ha!

This is how we left him.

And as we drove away, the sweetest thing happened – the mama owl flew into the next tree! It was as if she had been waiting for her baby to come back.

And as Becky always says, there’s never a dull moment around here – it’s always something! And this “something” was thrilling!

Here’s What’s New

Reed brought his littlest sister, June, to see the chicks today.

Both little sisters, Vera and June, loved the chicks!

And here’s what’s happening outside the barn.

The barn paint is showing wear on the east and north sides. We sided the south side a few years ago and the west side is covered with goat pens.

The east side was easy compared to the flag.

It’s beautiful! The stars will be added next.

Telly’s previous owner and fence repairer, Armando, stopped to see about securing the fence so Telly can’t get out and Telly was overjoyed to see him! She only lived with Armando and his family for one year but she obviously did not forget!

I saw this idea somewhere – putting a dog bowl inside a planter for water outside.